The Minneapolis Institute of Arts presents “Matisse: Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art.” The majority of the exhibition is made up of paintings, prints, and sculptures that were collected by Dr. Claribel Cone and her sister, Miss Etta Cone, avid lovers of modern art and supporters of Matisse’s work. Baltimore natives, the Cone sisters’ collection was highly valued and sought after by numerous museums, but there was only one place for the collection to find a home: The Baltimore Museum of Art.
The exhibition covers six decades of Matisse’s work, from his early drawings and paintings to his later printmaking. The narrative begins with Matisse’s early work in figure drawing to paintings that marry Matisse’s belief that the exterior is not a different world from the interior. Many of his paintings contain windows, but the interior scene is also given weight. Matisse had a belief that the interior and exterior “[do]not create two different worlds,” both exist on the same plane in his paintings and show their equal importance.
Those who love Fauvism will not be disappointed; throughout each room there are paintings with the bold, dancing colors one associates with Matisse’s style. While Matisse always has smooth blasts of color, there are the bold, black lines that often create a figure’s facial expression or outline a dancer’s body. “Black is a ballast” Matisse says to describe the use of a swath of black that surrounds “Ballet Dancer, Seated on a Stool, 1927.”
Matisse is also a highly quotable painter. For those who are creative, you may want to look to his eloquence for inspiration: “Creativity takes courage” or “Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.” Matisse’s words show he was a self-aware painter of his process and his purpose. It was emphasized numerous times that while the paintings look effortless, the process in their creation and completion was not. This is masterfully shown through a film and through a series of photographs that show the changes and progress on “Large Reclining Nude, 1935.”
The exhibition runs through May 18, 2014, and is a ticketed exhibition. For those who have not visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in the past year, they now charge for parking with easy to use kiosk stations that take credit cards. If you want to avoid the fee, there is 2-hour on-street parking in the area.
For more information please visit: http://new.artsmia.org/matisse/
Images via: Google and Web Museum of Fine Art